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Reflection: On Leaving

January 13, 2015

On Leaving

The leaving, those left. I wrote of that a month ago. And today, more thought of leaving. To not stay stuck. Old ideas and old ways, they need some updating.

This leaving the old wrapped in a blanket, best to put it on a pyre and burn it so there’s no temptation to go back and reclaim or rescue.

It isn’t easy to leave something, not the first time. And, this initiation of leavings, repeats over and over. First, you learn to leave your mother and you think you understand leaving. Then you leave a husband, separating yourself so the obligations don’t include being one with his thinking.

And you pat yourself on the back for your skill at leaving.

Then, you gasp and struggle, and realize your sibling has invaded your psyche and is strangling you so you’re in danger of dying to yourself and you manage to beak free and know yourself separate from being a sibling.

You think you’ve mastered leaving.

Then, a beloved four-legged friend who’s wrapped your heart in tenderness and love grows old and passes and you had no idea you’d loved so much. And you think leaving is terrible, but you’re an old hand so you’re supposedly good at it.

One day, you awaken to the knowledge that carrying around the old ideas as though they mean today what they meant when you learned them is not the way to your freedom. You see the ideas must adjust with every, single, breath, and all you can do is practice leaving.

In the end, leavings are inevitable, achingly predictable. Within each one, an act of witnessing a piece of yourself as it sets up in your driveway with the year scratched as neatly as possible in wet cement, above the pressed outline of your hand.

©Cottrell, 2015

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